20 trips to give your kids a half-term they won’t ever forget

From broomstick training to extreme rock-pooling: 20 thrilling trips to give your kids a half-term they won’t ever forget

  • From the Lake Districk to Oman, these are trips that will thrill the whole family 
  • Here we give you the where and the what and the highlight for each holiday
  • Glamping, foraging, cycling and raft building are also recommended activities

Parents rejoice – because here we present 20 trips that will leave your children grinning from ear to ear.

They will be spell-bound by broomstick training at Alnwick Castle, thrilled to take the leap on an extreme rock-pooling expedition in Wales and mesmerised by an odyssey to Oman’s coast.

Scroll down – your kids will thank you for it! 


1: Mushroom hunting by the loch

On the Isle of Skye, expert Mitch Partridge offers a fascinating morning of foraging

Where: Loch na Dal, Isle of Skye.

What: There’s an abundance of chanterelles, ceps and birch boletes to be found in the forest surrounding the Kinloch Lodge. On October 27, expert Mitch Partridge offers a morning of foraging. Enjoy freshly picked nibbles and refreshing brews (bog myrtle tea, anyone?) made on an open fire.

Don’t miss: Ask for room eight – it has great views over the loch.

Price: £125pp (under-16s accompanied by a parent go free). Group foraging, a three-course lunch and a cocktail (or mocktail), dinner and B&B costs from £315pp (kinloch-lodge.co.uk).

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2: Foraging in the Forest of Dean

Where: Clearwell, Gloucestershire.

What: Teach children where their food comes from with half-day workshops with foraging guru Raoul van den Broucke. Afterwards, enjoy a delicious lunch using your foraged ingredients.

Don’t miss: A family room (with double bed and bunk beds) at the Tudor Farmhouse.

Price: Families can book a group course in half-term (starting on either October 20 or 27) from £60pp, including lunch. Family rooms cost from £210 a night (tudorfarmhousehotel.co.uk).

3: Coastal cookery masterclass

Fruits of the sea: Join woodland manager Craig Evens in Carmarthenshire to scour rock pools and mudflats for shellfish and sea vegetables. He’ll then give a lesson in how to cook your finds

Where: Carmarthenshire.

What: Join woodland manager Craig Evens to scour rock pools and mudflats for shellfish and sea vegetables. He’ll then give a lesson in how to cook your finds.

Don’t miss: There is availability at the Broadway Country House Hotel in Laugharne – family rooms cost from £120 a night (broadwaycountryhouse.co.uk).

Price: Courses start at £80 per adult and include up to six hours of foraging and lunch. Under-16s go free (coastalforaging.co.uk).


4: Yurts on a garlic farm

Where: Newchurch, Isle of Wight.

What: Four luxurious yurts adorn a field of a family-run garlic farm overlooking Newchurch valley. Each yurts sleeps six and has a kitchen, wood-burning stove and USB charging socket. An on-site restaurant serves breakfast and lunch. There’s also a tennis court, football pitch and games room.

Don’t miss: The education room plays a history of garlic video, and there’s a chance to sample home-made garlic-infused products.

Price: A two-night stay for four costs from £243 (thegarlicfarm.co.uk).

5: Cabin in the woods

In Blackberry Wood in East Sussex you can book a stay at a Hansel and Gretel-style treehouse

Where: Blackberry Wood, near Lewes, East Sussex.

What: Quirky accommodation on a peaceful campsite, including a ‘curvy cabin’ featured on Grand Designs and a Hansel and Gretel-style treehouse.

Don’t miss: If you fancy a night off from cooking, pre-order a Thai takeaway, delivered to the campsite (tinythai.co.uk).

Price: From £220 for four staying in the curvy cabin for two nights. Camping starts at £15 a night for one tent (blackberrywood.com).

6: Beachside safari lodges

Go off-grid at a luxury safari-style lodge in apple orchards within walking distance of one of the county’s quietest sandy beaches at Holme Dunes

Where: Thornham Bay, Norfolk.

What: Go off-grid at a luxury safari-style lodge in apple orchards within walking distance of one of the county’s quietest sandy beaches at Holme Dunes. Well-equipped kitchens, comfy beds and showers await in accommodation that sleeps between six and ten people. There’s a farm shop, Eric’s Amazing Fish and Chips, and a cafe on site.

Don’t miss: Eric’s is licensed so you can enjoy a glass of prosecco with your meal.

Price: From £495 for a three-night break – a ten per cent discount is available to MoS readers who quote this article (wildluxury.co.uk).


7: Broomstick training in a castle

If your children are Harry Potter finds they’ll find the broomstick training course at Alnwick Castle spellbinding

Where: Alnwick Castle, Northumberland.

What: Harry Potter fans will love spooky goings-on at the castle where two of the movies were filmed. Activities include the chance to take a broomstick lesson in the same spot where Harry was taught quidditch, a potion lesson with a medieval alchemist, and a knights’ workshop.

Don’t miss: Local deli Tully’s delivers organic ready-to-eat meals if you fancy a feast without cooking (rothburydeli.co.uk).

Price: All activities included in admission price of £16 for adults, £8.50 for children (alnwickcastle.com). Burnfoot Holiday Cottages has availability nearby, including West Lodge, from £770 a week (burnfootholidaycottages.co.uk).

8: Bushcraft holiday camp

Where: Killinghall, near Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

What: Children aged eight and over can learn fire-lighting, shelter-making and wilderness cookery around the camp fire. One-day courses are available, or else camp overnight and learn how to navigate in the dark, plus tuck into supper and breakfast (hot chocolate and marshmallows included). Half-term is a week later than the rest of the country in Yorkshire, West Midlands and the North East so these courses run from October 29 to November 3. Stay on a working dairy farm in the village.

Don’t miss: Home-made scones and milkshakes, served in glass wellies, in the farm’s coffee shop.

Price: Holiday camp costs from £25 per child per day or £30 for the overnight camp (yorkshiredalesbushcraft.co.uk). Cowslip Cottage or Humblebee Cottage are available from between £530 and £730 a week (farmstay.co.uk).

9: Explore the Jurassic Coast

The Jurassic coast is the setting for a superb orienteering activity

Where: Warmwell, Dorset.

What: Find Silverlake’s self-catering properties dotted among hundreds of acres of heathland with lakes where you can kayak and paddleboard or take a nature trail on bike or foot. Tech-obsessed teenagers can rent a laminated map and GPS device pre-loaded with a series of waypoints. Hidden near each waypoint is a small container with a log book to register your visit. The map also gives examples of what may be spotted at each point, including otters and owls.

Don’t miss: The Hurricane Spa – try the Fleur de Vigne Candle Massage, using warmed balm from a candle by French brand Caudalie.

Price: Habitat Escapes offers three nights at Silverlake from £525, based on a two-bedroom self-catering property that sleeps up to four (habitatescapes.com).


10: Extreme rock-pooling

Take the leap! ‘Coasteering’ sees participants jumping into the sea during cliff-edge walks

Where: Abereiddy Bay, Pembrokeshire.

What: Coasteering, often described as extreme rock-pooling, involves climbing along cliffs and leaping into the sea if you reach an impassable section. Children aged eight and over can have a go and don’t have to be strong swimmers (buoyancy aids are worn over a wetsuit), and there’s close supervision. Guides from Celtic Quest Coasteering adapt each session depending on how daring you feel. Sessions run every day but book in advance. All kit is provided (celticquestcoasteering.com).

Don’t miss: Hire an electric golf buggy in the car-free resort of Bluestone National Park.

Price: Half-day coasteering sessions cost £45pp. A three-night stay at Bluestone over half-term costs from £499. Facilities include a water park, spa and crazy golf (bluestonewales.com).

11: Walk in the footsteps of giants

Where: Giant’s Causeway.

What: A week-long Giants, Myths & Legends tour kicks off in Belfast at the ruins of Dunluce Castle, C. S. Lewis’s inspiration for the Narnia castle, Cair Paravel. Walk the Gobbins Path, a two-and-a-half-hour route billed as one of Europe’s most dramatic hikes and suitable only for children over 3ft 2in. You’ll also hike to the Giant’s Causeway, visit the Titanic museum and go bird-watching on Rathlin Island.

Don’t miss: On the third day you’ll have lunch at the quaint Ballintoy Harbour, Co Antrim – Game Of Thrones fans will recognise this as the setting for Theon Greyjoy’s return to the Iron Islands.

Price: From £1,950 per adult and £1,329 per child, including six nights’ B&B, four lunches, two dinners, a Wilderness Ireland guide throughout the trip, transfers and activities with Wilderness Ireland (wildernessireland.com). Flights are not included.

12: Raft-building in the Lakes

Outdoor activities on offer at Ullswater (pictured) include bushcraft, archery, sailing, kayaking, paddle-boarding and raft-building

Where: Ullswater, Lake District.

What: A hotel called Another Place, The Lake reopened last year after the existing country-house hotel was given a modern, family-friendly twist. Now it’s all about children (and dogs!) with 18 acres that includes a children’s zone with a safari tent and playground hosting a year-round kids’ club. Outdoor activities include bushcraft, archery, sailing, kayaking, paddle-boarding and raft-building. Grown-ups will love the wild-running trails, spa and a chance to join the kids on the water or in the indoor pool with views of the lake. A hearty breakfast is included.

Don’t miss: Climb aboard a famous Ullswater Steamer, which runs from Glenridding to Pooley Bridge (ullswater-steamers.co.uk).

Price: A three-night stay at The Lake from October 27 to 30 is available from £720, based on a family of three sharing a Better Room on a B&B basis (i-escape.com).

Take a ride on a camel, zoom on zip-wires or learn to cut diamonds… 


Where: Junior golf at the Verdura Resort, a 60-minute drive from Palermo.

What: The Junior Golf Academy at the Rocco Forte resort is run by Giacomo Dovetta, rated one of the world’s top junior coaches. Once they’ve mastered their swing, enjoy a round on one of three golf courses. Children can also take classes in rugby and fencing.

Don’t miss: The Crystal Maze-style Escape Room – teenagers can challenge parents at solving puzzles and find the key to the door to escape. It costs £22pp.

Price: Seven nights’ B&B costs from £1,855pp, based on two adults and two children sharing connecting rooms (scottdunn.com) and including international flights and private transfers. A three-day Active October Half Term course costs from £85pp.


Pedal your way to happiness with a trip on the back roads of Catalonia from La Gola to La Fosca (pictured)

Where: Cycle along beaches and the back roads of Catalonia from La Gola to La Fosca.

What: Cycle through the lower Emporda Plain on the Costa Brava. Take in rolling hills dotted with medieval villages. Stay at two family-friendly agroturismos and one seaside hotel, all with a pool. Bike routes are relatively short, leaving time to relax.

Don’t miss: Delicious red Palamos prawns found on the menu at many local restaurants.

Price: Six nights’ half-board, luggage transfers, route maps and notes, and bicycle hire, costs £815 per adult and £630 per child with Inntravel (inntravel.co.uk). Flights and transfers extra. Best local airports are Girona and Barcelona.

15: OMAN

Oman’s Muscat coast (pictured) is where families can spend a night in a Bedouin camp, take in the Jebel Akhdar mountain range and explore ancient Nizwa

Where: The Muscat coast.

What: Spend a night in a Bedouin camp, take in the Jebel Akhdar mountain range and explore ancient Nizwa. Climb the dunes at Wahiba Sands, go dolphin-watching from Muscat and watch turtles lay their eggs on the beach at Ras al Jinz.

Don’t miss: Nizwa cattle market, held every Friday, is one of the finest in the Middle East.

Price: From £1,799 per adult and £1,699 per child including six nights’ B&B (one night in tented accommodation), four lunches, two dinners, and activities with Families Worldwide (familiesworldwide.co.uk). Flights extra.


Where: Timanfaya National Park, Playa Blanca.

What: Optima Villas has a range of properties with pools in Playa Blanca. It organises excursions including camel-trekking across the volcanic lunar landscape of Timanfaya National Park.

Don’t miss: Enjoy a G&T featuring the island’s brand Ave del Paraiso.

Price: Three-bedroom Villa Keur Africa costs from £840 a week (optimavillaslanzarote.com).


Head to Morne Coubaril Historical Adventure Park, which offers zip-wire activities

Where: The Pitons.

What: Head to Morne Coubaril Historical Adventure Park, which offers zip-wire activities.

Don’t miss: Coconut ice cream at beachside cafe Jammers.

Price: Zip-wire tickets are $75 (about £57) for adults and $37.50 (about £29) for children aged eight to 12 (stluciaziplining.com). A seven-night stay over half-term at the Windjammer Landing resort costs from £4,859 for a family of four sharing a two-bedroom ocean view villa on a room-only basis. The price includes return flights and transfers (destinology.co.uk).



What: The Dylan, a 40-room hotel on the Keizersgracht, one of Amsterdam’s most famous canals. A family package offers two interconnecting double rooms and tickets to NEMO Science Museum.

Don’t miss: While the Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank’s House are essential for older kids, the Tropenmuseum has lots of interactive exhibits.

Price: The Dylan’s family package costs £975 (dylanamsterdam.com).


What: Kid & Coe has a family apartment in Marais. You’ll find bunk beds in the children’s rooms, plus Lego and scooters.

Don’t miss: La Cité des Sciences, the biggest science museum in Europe (cite-sciences.fr).

Price: The Meslay Residence costs from €200 (about £177) a night. Visit kidandcoe.com.


What: With great shopping and culture, Antwerp is best suited to families with older children. Stay at the boutique Franq hotel in the heart of the city.

Don’t miss: More than half of the world’s diamonds are cut in Antwerp. Adults and children will be dazzled by the new Diamond Museum, Diva, where you can watch diamond-cutters at work (divaantwerp.be).

Price: Franq hotel (hotelfranq.com) has double rooms from €154 (about £134) a night. 

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